Meet January “Do the Right Thing” Winner: Janice Robertson
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — One out of five children can be food insecure, and one Tennessee Valley woman is working to change that.
Janice Robertson helped launch the Snack Pack ministry at East Brainerd Church of Christ in 2014, after learning many children go hungry on the weekends when they’re not in school.
That’s why she’s this month’s Do the Right Thing winner.
“I knew that there were hungry children in Chattanooga, but I just didn’t know how many,” Robertson said. “There’s about 40,000 children in Hamilton County schools, and one out of five children can be food insecure.”
The Snack Pack program has come a long way in just a couple of years.
It started with just a few hundred children. Now the ministry reaches 1,000 kids per week at 13 Hamilton County schools.
“This is my happy place. It really is,” Robertson said. “It just brings me a lot of joy, and especially to know that we’re helping the kids, and not only helping the kids, but we’re helping the schools and helping the parents also.”
It costs about $2 to fill each bag.
Volunteers pack the bags at least once a month, filling them with cans of pasta, juice boxes, and various snacks they purchase from the food bank and grocery store.
They then deliver the bags to the schools each week.
“It has helped the children also on their attendance pickup on Friday, because they know that they’re going to get that food bag, so they’re going to be there,” Robertson said.
And even though Robertson and the other volunteers may not know or ever meet the children they’re helping, they’re still thrilled to know they’re making a positive impact.
“One of our schools, every child that gets a blue bag sent us a thank you note, and it’s from them or from their parents, and just to sit down and read what the kids have said was absolutely amazing,” she said.
If you’d like to volunteer or donate, contact Robertson at email@example.com.